Finding Treasures In Our Trials
 
TIME'S LONG AND FLOWING RIVER
 
In time's long and flowing river,
Swept along, I cannot roam;
Contemplate my circumstances,
As it takes me surely home.
 
Many times I've longed to linger,
Spend a while outside its flow;
Let the trials of life slip by me,
But I'm drawn along in tow.
 
Looking at my friends and family,
Oh, how young they seem to be!
River flows and they're much older,
Time is also changing me.
 
Gentle moments with my family,
How I thought they'd always be;
Look again and one is gone,
Gone ahead to wait for me.
 
Errors made as time goes by,
Follow me and cause regrets;
Can't go back, the river's flowing,
I try to learn as the course is set.
 
Sad and happy times together,
Blend as one into a scene;
Time does that in such a manner,
Almost seems to be a dream.
 
But we have a watchful Pilot,
Who always knows just where we are.
Keeps us safe within His river,
'Til it crosses heaven's bar.
 
 

FOR EVERY VALLEY A MOUNTAIN

 

When God created the mountains,
He made all the valleys beside;
Not to be places of troubled defeat,
But there in His grace to abide.

 

Compelled, we live in the valleys,
Constrained by the curse of the fall;
For every valley a mountain is there,

It beckons us to heed its call.

 

We clearly see from the mountain,
That the valleys do have an end;
And not far beyond, supernal, sublime,
Are delights for all who ascend.

 
[I am sorry, Donna. Will you forgive me?]
 
DIFFERENT PATHS
 
Two lads conceived for special deeds,
Down different paths the Lord would lead;
One right, one left, but both would seek,
To serve their Master, hear Him speak.
 
For came the day He'd clearly say,
"It's time to go your separate ways;"
"Though one take right, the other left,"
"Your parents' roots will find new depth."
 
"It's for their sake I heal and break,
And length of days I give and take;
"This day's ordained for joy and pain,
But be assured you'll meet again.
 
"When sorrow's done and crowns are won,
"To both of you I'll say, 'Well done."
 
 The march of Providence is seems so slow and our desires so impatient; the work of progress so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is in the looking back at what was built, that history that teaches us to hope. Robert E. Lee
 
"For I know the plans that I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans for your good and not for calamity; to teach you and to give your life purpose, joy and meaning...." Paraphrased (Jeremiah 29:11)
 
George Frederick Handel's career was afflicted with setbacks. Twice bankrupt, he had fallen out of favor with audiences, and financial woes mounted. With such strains upon him, he plunged into the task of writing Messiah. Servants reported that for the 24-day duration of the project, his food was often untouched, and his manuscript was frequently wet with tears.
 
Upon hearing the first London performance of Messiah on March 23, 1743, King George II of England rose to his feet at what we know as the "Hallelujah Chorus." The majestic and thrilling arrangement of diverse orchestral elements gave wings to the king's body and soul.
 
Of the "Hallelujah Chorus" Handel would later say, "I thought I saw all Heaven before me, and our great God Himself." Out of the depth of Handel's discouragement came one of the most significant compositions in musical history.
 
When God plucks the strings of our lives with the hand of contrary circumstances, what music will He hear? Will it be a mournful dirge of discouragement? No. He is the Conductor. It will be the score for a magnificent anthem that is played before the Master; its diverse elements arranged for a "Hallelujah Chorus" of harmony of purpose and joy in our lives.
 
But the melody of hope is often subtle, weaving in and out and around trying times that might easily get us down. But not to worry; whether the melody advances with the boldness of percussion or the gentleness of strings, its varied themes will blend in perfect harmony. The Best is yet to come...
 
James McAlister
 
Have a great day!
 
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